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Friday, March 25, 2011

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana XII -- chapter 11: PHILATELY

I'm tempted to call this chapter a little self-indulgent on the part of Eco, except that I enjoy this chapter.  It's quiet, pensive, and offers an effect of the Calm Before the Storm, and all the little pieces collected might be assembled, somehow, later to make some more complete picture.  Maybe.  Whatever.  As far as I'm concerned, there are only really three questions here:
  1. What parallel can you draw between Yambo and the purportedly poorly-told tale of Queen Loana and her Mysterious Flame, despite Yambo's claim that he must have moved past the lamentable narrative in favor of the exotic and suggestive--mellifluous--names?
  2. What connection is there (indeed identified, at least simply, if no more than skatingly, by Yambo) between philatery and all those comic books, another kind of philately in itself, though with a sort of (this is stretching, I know) tax exemption all its own?
  3. Will the memory return if he jumps into the fog filling the gorge?


  1. 1. I see a connection to Paola: "It is unclear why Loana needs a modern double (especially one who does not love her either, having in fact fallen in love at first sight with her sister), considering that she could use her mysterious flame to bring her mummified lover back to life." Yambo has this unique opportunity to erase the slate and start over with Paola, but instead he's wasting his time flirting around with the likes of Sibilla, who clearly loves someone else. WHY!?!?
    2. I think that they're each windows into different cultures.
    3. Well, he'd be able to see it better, but he could also kill himself by jumping. So it's a tough call.

  2. 1. Good catch on the mummified lover. I've been really distracted today. Likely this is not the best set of questions I've assembled for the book. Oh well.
    2. I think they're parallel, and each a form of vicarious travel and adventure, the later slightly more connected to reality--slightly more mature.
    3. Yes.

  3. The questions are fine. I actually agree with your critique that the chapter was a little self-indulgent on Eco's part.


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